Hiding God’s Word in our hearts is a sure-fire way to draw closer to Him. Not only should we be memorizing Scripture ourselves (I have a whole post to help you with this), but we should also be training our children to do the same. And even our very small children, preschoolers, can memorize God’s Word!
The Bible calls us to hide God’s Word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11). And we also know that the Bible is profitable for all situations we will face in this life (2 Timothy 3:16). We need the Bible everyday and so do our kids. That is why we need to help them memorize Scripture while they are young!
Let’s start with the basics and then I will share some of my most helpful tips.
Pick Out a Passage For Them to Learn
As you are studying the Bible, keep an eye out for an encouraging passage that your kids could put to memory. Maybe it’s from one of the Gospels or a short Psalm.
I have found that a passage of around 5-6 verses works well. You could do a longer passage if your children are older. And, if you are memorizing a passage yourself that is appropriate for your kids to learn, then, by all means, do that one! Helping your children memorize it will, no doubt, help you too!
Present It Plainly
Read through the passage with your child/children and explain that this is the passage you’ve chosen to memorize with them. Explain what the passage is talking about and why you’ve chosen it to memorize.
Even though your preschooler may not fully understand what you are talking about, it’s still important for you to get in the habit of helping them understand Scripture. They are relying on you as a guide in this area! A simple explanation of the words is just fine.
5 Tips to Help Your Preschooler Memorize Scripture
Okay, that’s the basics. Now here are my 5 tips. These are all things that I have done with my daughter and they have helped her memorize Psalm 23 very well!
1. Break It Down
If you’ve chosen a longer verse or passage, break it down into phrases to repeat to your children. Try to keep these phrases to a maximum of 3 words. This may seem like it’s too little, but it will really help your child nail down those words correctly. You want them to have the correct words when they are memorizing Scripture. Then there will not be second guessing or lots of correcting later on.
As your child learns the beginning phrase, add on the next phrase. Repeat the new phrase separately and then add on the previously memorized phrases and repeat together.
If it’s helpful, write out the first verse you are working on and draw lines wherever you want to make a phrase break. Then keep it on a 3×5 card for reference.
2. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
You know that never-ending joke about Pete and Repeat in the boat??? Well, that is what you may feel like when working on verses with your preschooler! But it is well worth it. Once you’ve broken down the verse into phrases, repeat them, repeat them, repeat them with your little one.
This can also be a lot of fun. Have your child say them in different voices (scary, whisper, monster, dragon, princess, baby, etc.). Or have them do something different each time (hold one hand up, jump on one foot, touch their head, touch their toes, etc.).
All in all, I would aim to repeat a phrase 10 times in a row. That sounds like a lot, but when you are only having your child say 3 word phrases, it really goes quickly.
As you are repeating the phrase with your child, be sure to correct them if they say the wrong word. I can’t stress this enough, but we want our kids to know the true words of the Bible, so we have to make sure that they are memorizing the right ones!
If they are struggling with a certain word or mixing some up, just slow down and go over the words again slower and slower. Then have them say it again at a normal speed.
4. Hand Motions
As you are repeating the phrases with your children, consider making up hand motions to go with each phrase. You don’t have to know sign language (although that is definitely a plus!) for this part. Simply make up some hand motions that are easy for you to remember and have your child do them along with you as you work on the verse together.
Hand motions also make it MUCH easier when you start adding on more and more phrases to the passage you are learning.
5. Practice Regularly!
Now, those tips may sound like you’ve got to sit down, set aside 30 minutes, and really work with your preschooler on his/her Bible verse. And, mama, if you’ve got the time to do that, do it!
But, you really do not need that much time to go over the Bible verses or phrases quickly. Maybe the first time repeating should be a little more focused, but the following times can be quick and simple. Repeat the phrases while you are on a walk, or in the car, or loading the dishwasher, or while you’re eating. Really anywhere that you are with your child can be a time of review of the Bible verses they are learning. I always ask my daughter to whisper her Bible verses to me while I get her dressed for bed at night.
So be creative with when and where you practice the verses with your child. After all, the Bible talks about us teaching our children when we rise up, when we sleep, and when we go about our way. So you are obeying this command when you teach your child their verses throughout the day together.
My Own Experience
All of these tips come from my own experience with my daughter. She is now just 2.5 years old and she has memorized almost all of Psalm 23 using these methods. Watch the video below!
Psalm 23 By Aletheia
How About You?
Have you ever taught your preschooler a Bible verse to memorize? How did it go? Use my tips and let me know what you think!
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